Pan

Turbulent chi in Zhan Zhong and Bagua practice?

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Hello my fellow bums, I was hoping you might have some insight for me.

 

I've recently started training in Yin Bagua. My teacher has explained that while practicing the Standing Strengthening Postures, the goal is to achieve the maximum possible isometric muscular tension without any shaking of the body occurring. He explained the shaking is a sign of turbulent chi and hinders the process of changing fast twitch muscle fibers to slow twitch, the "strengthing" process.

 

I used to practice Zhan Zhong many years ago. But was told that the shaking in postures like "holding the ball" or "hugging the tree" is normal and should simply be endured and ultimately relaxed through in order to achieve deeper and deeper layers of stillness.

 

So, my question to any Bagua/taiji/chi gung practitioners out there: When, if ever, is it a good thing to shake while practicing standing postures?

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Hello my fellow bums, I was hoping you might have some insight for me.

 

I've recently started training in Yin Bagua. My teacher has explained that while practicing the Standing Strengthening Postures, the goal is to achieve the maximum possible isometric muscular tension without any shaking of the body occurring. He explained the shaking is a sign of turbulent chi and hinders the process of changing fast twitch muscle fibers to slow twitch, the "strengthing" process.

 

I used to practice Zhan Zhong many years ago. But was told that the shaking in postures like "holding the ball" or "hugging the tree" is normal and should simply be endured and ultimately relaxed through in order to achieve deeper and deeper layers of stillness.

 

So, my question to any Bagua/taiji/chi gung practitioners out there: When, if ever, is it a good thing to shake while practicing standing postures?

Shaking and trembling usually indicates that muscles are being tensed and engaged. The objective of standing practices is to let go of tension and become more sung. This helps focus and refine our energy.

 

When we become more and more empty we can stand for progressively longer periods of time.

 

Not sure I know what turbulent qi means...and have never heard it being described that way.

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far as I know, one does not change the twitch nature of muscle fibers.  that sort of shaking means you're going beyond where you've trained for.  not a bad thing at all.  get past it, for sure.

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I'm not experienced in enduring forcefully beyond the shaking phase, but one thing I can say...relaxation is the key to being still. When I practicing zhan zhuang regularly, I had a couple of craniosacral sessions and then practiced afterward. I could stand effortlessly for an hour straight simply due to the relaxation effect that occurred.

So the advice to relax seems great. More so than enduring tension. Personally when I practice these days, I go for the most effortless posture possible and then go slightly further toward a position that would elicit shaking...but if it causes tension, I back off. Effortless = qi flows.

Always follow your teacher's advice...different styles train for different effects.

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Hi,

 

May I suggest you look for another teacher. I can write a list of reasons, if you like.

Do's and dont's if you want to walk the circle for years to come without falling into the "Bagua burnout" syndrome which is

quite common.

 

Best! :)

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A slightly off topic quick question for Rudolf_safie - I was just wondering how you went about learning ZZ, were you self taught or did you get instruction?

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I'm not experienced in enduring forcefully beyond the shaking phase, but one thing I can say...relaxation is the key to being still. When I practicing zhan zhuang regularly, I had a couple of craniosacral sessions and then practiced afterward. I could stand effortlessly for an hour straight simply due to the relaxation effect that occurred.

 

So the advice to relax seems great. More so than enduring tension. Personally when I practice these days, I go for the most effortless posture possible and then go slightly further toward a position that would elicit shaking...but if it causes tension, I back off. Effortless = qi flows.

 

Always follow your teacher's advice...different styles train for different effects.

Thanks Aetherous, this was helpful. I agree with all of this as it applies to Zhan Zhong.

Edited by Pan

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Hi,May I suggest you look for another teacher. I can write a list of reasons, if you like. Do's and dont's if you want to walk the circle for years to come without falling into the "Bagua burnout" syndrome which is quite common.Best! :)

Can you say more on this? I'm still very new to Bagua. I'd really like to hear more and your practice, those do's and don'ts and what exactly bagua burnout is

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Thanks for all the great replies so far guys.

 

Here is a link to a small article written by anothet student of Yin Bagua briefly explaining the Standing Strengthening Postures and at what point the chi becomes "turbid" i.e. shaking:

 

http://becomingthelion.blogspot.com/2012/05/bagua-standing-strengthening-practice.html?m=1

 

My teacher's explaination was that achieving maximum isometric tension without shaking, creates smooth layers of development over time while practicing the standing strengthening postures. Apparently turbid or turbulent (as he called it) chi disrupts this smooth layering effect?

 

The instruction is the same for circle walking. We keep our arms up, enduring fatigue and discomfort but we are taught to perform a direction and arm change form the moment our arms start to shake for the same general "turbid" chi reason that I'm seeking to understand more clearly.

 

Apparently, the Yin Bagua Style in its entirety, secret techniques, neigongs, etc, has been uploaded to YouTube for anyone to learn. I'm not learning this way, but it's great research material and there for anyone to check out just by searching "Yin Bagua Lion"

 

My teacher's teacher is He Jenbao, he demonstrates the bulk of the material in the later videos starting around #11.5 in the Lion System. I would especially appreciate opinions from anyone who practices bagua.

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Hi Pan,

 

In YSB there is standing to develop 'blood', and standing to develop 'qi' for a reason. You want to understand and work with both. There is a VERY good reason for both methods, and even modern sports science supports this.

 

Please know that there is always a reason for a given practice. If one teacher says "do this...like this....avoid XYZ when doing so" it is beacuse that is the practice they are teaching you, and how to get the development they are trying to get you to have. It is that simple. It does NOT mean that another teacher, teaching another method cannot say the exact opposite! "do this...like this....and embrace XYZ when doing so". It can be a different method to develop something else, even if it LOOKS the same to the outside eye.

 

In plain straight out physical exertion shaking means you have overly taxed the muscles and confused the neuro-muscular connection. When trying to learn movement patterns etc, this is not good. It gets in the way of that purpose. Yes, out in the wider world, there are methods that intentionally sets up this kind of shaking, but their reasons for doing so, and the proposed aims of those methods are not tied to training movement patterns. You want a smooth neuro-muscular connection.

 

In Chinese medicine shaking and vibration means the qi and blood are in a dissonant relationship, they aren't together so to speak. Either the qi is moving too fast for the blood, or the blood is not able to keep up with the qi (not the same thing). YSB has doudong gong (shaking) practices in it's daoyin, shaking is not always bad. It depends on why it is being done, when it is being done and how it is being done.

 

Be careful of comparing apples and oranges.

 

I hope this helps,

Edited by snowmonki
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Hi Pan,

 

In YSB there is standing to develop 'blood', and standing to develop 'qi' for a reason. You want to understand and work with both. There is a VERY good reason for both methods, and even modern sports science supports this.

 

Please know that there is always a reason for a given practice. If one teacher says "do this...like this....avoid XYZ when doing so" it is beacuse that is the practice they are teaching you, and how to get the development they are trying to get you to have. It is that simple. It does NOT mean that another teacher, teaching another method cannot say the exact opposite! "do this...like this....and embrace XYZ when doing so". It can be a different method to develop something else, even if it LOOKS the same to the outside eye.

 

In plain straight out physical exertion shaking means you have overly taxed the muscles and confused the neuro-muscular connection. When trying to learn movement patterns etc, this is not good. It gets in the way of that purpose. Yes, out in the wider world, there are methods that intentionally sets up this kind of shaking, but their reasons for doing so, and the proposed aims of those methods are not tied to training movement patterns. You want a smooth neuro-muscular connection.

 

In Chinese medicine shaking and vibration means the qi and blood are in a dissonant relationship, they aren't together so to speak. Either the qi is moving too fast for the blood, or the blood is not able to keep up with the qi (not the same thing). YSB has doudong gong (shaking) practices in it's daoyin, shaking is not always bad. It depends on why it is being done, when it is being done and how it is being done.

 

Be careful of comparing apples and oranges.

 

I hope this helps,

Thank you for this excellent and informative reply snowmonki,

 

it is definitely very helpful. I will do some research and almost certainly return with many more questions about YSB.

 

Thanks again

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Turbid Qi may be the term "Zhuo Qi," which is the Yin Qi of the earth.

Turbid Qi indicates collecting into the centre and condensing, it is typically the entry point into the Chaos or "Hun Dun" stage of creation, and will result in a deep yin state which has a small dot of yang inside of it.  "Qing qi" or clear Qi is the result of turbid qi amassing in the body, and typically is the desired result of self cultivation, at least in regards to Qi.

Turbid Qi relates to the Kun trigram and clear Qi relates to the Qian trigram.

It is important for you to cultivate both.

Typically in regards to Zhan Zhuang practice, it is very important to congeal the Qi in the lower dantian, and if you feel that the mind quiets down, becomes somewhat turbid or unclear, and rests deeply into the Dantian, then you will get the benefit of zhuo qi.   When this happens for long enough, the Qi will naturally become clear and you will enter a yang energetic state, which is really ideal.

In regards to lengthening muscles and so on, that is usually taken care of by posture and intention (yi).

Because gongfu practice requires you to cultivate both inner and outer intention and male and female (hun and po), it takes much longer to accumulate yin and yang qi than in meditation practice, which has a fairly direct method.

I would suggest that what your teacher probably means is that you need to master the outer posture first, get your intention aligned with the outer posture, and then later you can bring it inside and concentrate on developing other aspects such as transforming yin and yang.

 

Just some thoughts.

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Certainly :)

 

1. Do no train Bagua. Do it, little by little with zero expectations. Take time off (1-2 days a week) in order to let your body regenerate itself after the huge load this amazing art places in your entire energetic, emotional and psychic system. Those spirals go deep in the body-mind complex and you can easily burn out if you try to attain things too fast or train too often and too long.

 

2. Be relaxed and fully focused on perfect form and body alignment when you walk the circle and you hold the neigong palms (8 Mother Palms).

 

3. *Foundation work (jibengong), 8MP, slow and perfect circle walk as well as changes in direction (slowly done, focused and no mistake with ko bu and bai bu stepping since they are designed by ancient Taoists to develop the change between yin and yang within the body strongly estimulating the Kidney network as this organ is the source of all Yin and Yang...no Kidney = no Life). Bagua strongly tonifies the root (Kidney).

 

4. Check the advice I gave in this other thread.

 

 

Good luck!

 

*Note: Foundations (video links 1 & 2)

Edited by Gerard

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"Bagua burnout" syndrome ...

 

May you write a little more about it?

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sorry, couldn't resist

 

f4cea1de182d5f125fe0a51b140c9407.jpg

 

Hahahahahahaha ...   tnx for posting it ...   :)

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If you do too much like anything really you'll overtrain and internal overtraining is a lot worse than external overtraining since we are dealing here with emotional and psychic/karmic sudden release that can further overwhelm your conditioned mind (post-heaven). If you go easy, step by step without pushing it too much, then that release won't result in a sudden buildup.

 

We are also opening meridians of energy (psychic channels) and working the tendons, progressively opening the joints and connective tissue. This requires rest and seated and lying down meditation work as well as a healthy diet and herbal medicine plus tuina or massage relief.

 

In oder words you are OPENING YOUR MIND, this is an extraordinary event that requires a careful and minute approach to circle walking since Baguaquan is in essence a Daoist art (scientific).

 

Last word of advice: lust and sensual pleasure will destroy the practitioner due to the dept Bagua will lead to, if the art is trained at the highest level, i.e. enligthenment/return to the Dao. This is not a joke as this art is capable of delivering this precious gift. :)

 

In the meantime enjoy your oolong tea and listen to music that will nourish your "hun."

 

 

 

Bagua = gongfu = considerable effort over a long period of time.

 

Good luck!

Edited by Gerard
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Hahahahahahaha ...   tnx for posting it ...   :)

 

well, it does sort of describe the memory of my first visits to the Dojo.

 

" what am i doing here, i'm crazy, and he is too, only more so..."       :blush:  :blush:  :blush: ..... :D

 

so glad I've kept it up, he ain't crazy, far from it.

And i'm on the way getting rid of it.

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Hello my fellow bums, I was hoping you might have some insight for me.

 

I've recently started training in Yin Bagua. My teacher has explained that while practicing the Standing Strengthening Postures, the goal is to achieve the maximum possible isometric muscular tension without any shaking of the body occurring. He explained the shaking is a sign of turbulent chi and hinders the process of changing fast twitch muscle fibers to slow twitch, the "strengthing" process.

 

I used to practice Zhan Zhong many years ago. But was told that the shaking in postures like "holding the ball" or "hugging the tree" is normal and should simply be endured and ultimately relaxed through in order to achieve deeper and deeper layers of stillness.

 

So, my question to any Bagua/taiji/chi gung practitioners out there: When, if ever, is it a good thing to shake while practicing standing postures?

 

Snowmonki's reply for me was spot on.

 

Part of working with a lineage and credible teacher involves cultivating trust and commitment. This really only comes with time and seeing the benefits of the method. While it's fine to study and read, nothing is more important than putting in the time and practicing as you are instructed. Otherwise you'll never give yourself the chance to see it will work for you. There are infinite methods to achieve any given objective. A lineage represents a group of dedicated practitioners who have developed, organized, tested, modified, and codified and internally consistent and comprehensive set of methods that have proven to be effective. It is worth the commitment, IMO.

 

In the beginning we are very curious and maybe a little anxious and excited. We are prone to ask lots of questions and look in many different places for answers when they are not quickly answered to our satisfaction (youtube, daobums, books, DVD's, etc..). What I found was that much of the information I got in this way wasn't terribly useful in the long run with the exception of an occasional pearl and was more often a distraction. If I simply allowed my mind to rest in the confidence that my teacher was guiding in the right direction, the practices themselves were the greatest teacher although the answers come slow and are often subtle, requiring a quiet and attentive mind. 

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